Joseph Parra

The detail above is from am / are / is, a CMYK screenprint by Joseph Parra. The gray background is printed digitally on white rives and the CMYK figure layers are screenprinted on top. Afterward, Parra pricks tiny dots revealing the white paper underneath. The visibility of the holes changes depending on where the viewer is standing due to the angle in which the dots are punctured. The surface of the piece has a distinct texture due to the pricking of the paper. While I haven’t seen this piece in person, I think even the photographs of it resonate with a tactile quality.

I asked Parra if any of his work involves self-portraiture. His reply:

I guess the answer to your question would be yes and no. None of the figures depicted in my work are me, but I do think that each portrait in their own way references me. There’s that saying, “every portrait is a self portrait” (I cannot recall who originally said this). So the figures are not physically me, but they represent me, the artist/creator, almost more than the different figures’ identities.

Joseph Parra, am / are / is,  Screenprint , 29″ x 40″.

Printmakers might also find his piece, Carbon Dioxide Man, of interest. It’s a clear response to Leonard Baskin’s Hydrogen Man. He uses charcoal rather than Baskin’s preferred medium, woodcut. It’s nice to see classic work like this revisited. Current stirrings about Iran’s possible nuclear ambitions aside, carbon dioxide seems a fitting (albeit slower and quieter) contemporary substitute for the hydrogen-fueled thermonuclear bombs of the cold war era.

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Categories: Artists

3 Responses to “Joseph Parra”

  1. Faith says:

    So textured and sensuous, like goosebumps!


  2. Drew Kail says:

    Absolutely stunning work.

  3. Eva says:

    This is a fabulous print!